what will this festival season bring us all

What will this festive season bring us all?

It is around this time of the year when festivities from the Hindu calendar spring to life.

As a lead up to one of the most popular Indian festivals, Diwali, the majority of India and many Indians settled overseas celebrate Navratri, Durga Ashtami and Dussera.

In the years before COVID 19,  festivities would already have kicked into top gear and the social interaction would have been full of excitement, without any restrictions or boundaries of any kind.

But of course, those times now seem like a different world. A world we probably took for granted, in hindsight.

But having said that, the indomitable human spirit will always find ways to celebrate and honour the divine, regardless of the challenges and restrictions.

Let us take a look at how Indians in Australia celebrate these festivals and the new ways that have been adopted, reflecting the world we live in.

Navratri

The most famous nine nights in India, are symbolized by the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil tyranny of Mahisasura. It is said, that she borrows the power of every God and engages in a dazzling and brutal battle that lasts for nine nights (ten days).

The battle was so mesmerizing that the entire world stood frozen to witness it.

People across India who celebrate this festival, do so in different ways, depending on which part of India you belong to.

In the western part, this festival marks the beginning of the ‘dance’ season in the way of cultural dance forms like Garba, Dandiya etc. In the southern regions, families place divine dolls in the form of a tiered altar called ‘Golu’. In the northern region, special pujas, fasts, meditation, singing, and dancing takes place along with the exchange of sweets, clothes etc. In West Bengal, a five day Durga Puja is also celebrated with great pomp and fervour.

And given the diversity of the country and the cultures within, it is almost impossible to specify what happens in each region. Do let us know how you like to celebrate Navratri.

Durga Ashtami

While Durga Ashtami is celebrated as a separate festival, it really refers to that 8th night in the above-mentioned battle.

A tradition associated with Durga Ashtami is to honour young, unmarried girls (usually a group of five to seven), who are invited into the home. The tradition is based on the belief that each of these young girls represents the shakti (energy) of Durga on Earth.

This festival, a lot like Navratri is a testament to the power of the divine feminine and is a reminder of the wonderful role that women continue to play in all aspects of life. A reminder that it is this energy that sustains and nourishes the very existence we treasure.

Dussera

One of the most popular historical epics from India is the Ramayana. Those who are familiar with the epic know that it is the ultimate fight between the virtuous (represented by Lord Rama) and unrighteous (King Ravana).

Dussera marks the last day of the war where Lord Rama finally kills the demon King Ravana and reunites with his wife, Goddess Seetha.

Given that we have reunited numerous couples over the last two years through our flights, we understand the pains of separation that Lord Rama and Goddess Seetha might have faced.

Here is to the triumph of the virtuous in us, every single time.

But what does all of this mean to us, especially now?

One of the most popular historical epics from India is the Ramayana. Those who are familiar with the epic know that it is the ultimate fight between the virtuous (represented by Lord Rama) and unrighteous (King Ravana).

Dussera marks the last day of the war where Lord Rama finally kills the demon King Ravana and reunites with his wife, Goddess Seetha.

Given that we have reunited numerous couples over the last two years through our flights, we understand the pains of separation that Lord Rama and Goddess Seetha might have faced.

Here is to the triumph of the virtuous in us, every single time.

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